I am an Olympian in fielding distractions. Being an insatiable learner, I love Christian content outlets — articles, books, podcasts, writers on Instagram. I also love a good story, which includes a creative Netflix show or blockbuster movie. Something else about me? I don’t like the quiet. In the silence, I’m left with what’s simply true about me or my surroundings, and for many reasons too long-winded for this post, that isn’t easy for me. It’s getting easier and more natural, but it’s taken a lot of work with the Holy Spirit.
Anyway, distractions. When I became a mom, I realized why distractions were so tempting.
- Distractions seem more available, more accessible and quicker, than God. (They’re not.)
- Usually, on the other side of distraction isn’t clarity or refreshment or rest. I’m back where I started, with something unresolved.
Imagine walking a path and the terrain gets rocky or dry. Veering off the path toward unfamiliar territory that promises help or comfort doesn’t actually help me. I eventually come back to the path and I’m honestly more cluttered or burdened than before, because now I’m whirring with the elements of my detour. The better choice would have been to continue on the path, walking until the terrain changed. Because nothing stays the same forever, right?
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9,16)
Snacks aren’t more available than God. Netflix isn’t more accessible than God. My phone isn’t closer than God.
Flourishing takes a genuine belief that God dwells in us. If I trust that He is good and that He loves me, than I can sit with what is unpleasant or confusing or unresolved in me, and sit in it WITH GOD. I can stay in the moment, on the path, no matter the problems or surroundings or the terrain, because God is with me there. To leave the path and His presence for the help of another thing only cultivates anxiety and doubt.
Sit with your sadness, your confusion, your boredom, your discontentment, and invite God in. Or, ask for faith to believe He’s already with you in that place. Say no to distraction and open yourself up to the possibility God is so much closer and has something for you.
Scripture for further meditation:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8
“Yet, in spite of all this, you comfort me by your counsel; you draw me closer to you. You lead me with your secret wisdom. And following you brings me into your brightness and glory!” Psalm 73:23-24
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Psalm 14:8-10
“Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” Psalm 55:17
“Where can I go from your presence and where can I hide from your love?” Psalm 139